"The Fight is In Us" campaign calls on COVID-19 survivors to donate plasma

ByAlicia Vitarelli and Dawn Heefner WPVI logo
Saturday, July 11, 2020
One of first survivors in New York now calls on the 1.5 million survivors to save lives, find answers to the pandemic

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (WPVI) -- A call is going out to the million and a half COVID-19 survivors in the U-S, to help save more lives in the future.

It's from the Survivor Corps, a grassroots organization of coronavirus patients.

They say it's a "call to arms," for survivors to roll up their sleeves to donate blood plasma.

"There was nothing subtle about it. I woke up with a 102 fever," says Diana Berrent.

Before Friday the 13th in March, Diana Berrent was a photographer and mom.

After that, Berrent became a COVID warrior.

First, she battled against the coronavirus itself, "with good old Tylenol and Gatorade."

"It hit my whole family; they all got sick, too," she notes.

But as she and her family slowly recovered, Berrent founded the Survivor Corps, to bring others like herself together.

She then become the first to donate plasma at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

And Berrent is now leading a national drive called "The Fight is In Us," to get as many survivors as she can to donate, too.

She says it won't just save lives now, but help plasma banks as well as pharmaceutical companies developing antibody drugs, in case of a new wave in the fall.

"We need to stockpile that plasma now. we don't know yet how long the antibodies stay in your system and at what point they start to plateau, at what point they start to drop," she says.

Berrent says survivors can donate over and over - she's done it 6 times so far.

Microsoft, the Mayo Clinic, and other major organizations are backing the effort.

"We need to be sure every survivor is using those superpowers they have within their body to help the scientific community get the answers they need, and as quickly as possible," she says.

Berrent says she caught the virus at a meeting of 8 people - something to think about as we re-open.

To find a blood or plasma donor center, click on TheFightIsInUs.org.

To learn more about the Survivors Corps, CLICK HERE.